Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Voters Reject Photo Enforcement Cameras Again & Again & Again

Voters in three cities sent a clear message to local lawmakers yesterday by adopting charter amendments that ban photo enforcement. In addition to kicking two camera supporters from the city council, 72 percent of those voting in Chillicothe, Ohio approved a total prohibition on the use of red light cameras and speed cameras. In College Station, Texas the vote was much closer, but at the end of the night 52 percent wanted the red light cameras to come down. In Heath, Ohio 51 percent voted against the cameras. A total of nine cities nationwide have used the initiative process to ban camera enforcement since 1991, with camera proponents never having won a public vote.

The triple defeat for the photo enforcement industry came despite a well-funded public relations effort in each of the cities. In Chillicothe, Redflex Traffic Systems sent a glossy mailer to every voter while the mayor demanded that the Ohio Supreme Court ban the public from even voting on the issue -- a move high court justices swiftly rejected. Citizens Against Photo Enforcement (CAPE), the group responsible for the ballot measure, claimed an additional victory as voters elected camera opponent Bruce Arnold, who won the seat of council president, Jeremy Siberell, who won the fifth ward and Dustin Proehl, the only incumbent to have voted against cameras. CAPE leader Rebecca Valentich told TheNewspaper that she was thrilled with the outcome.

"We came together as individuals, and we united as a community," Valentich said. "The people have spoken, and very clearly. Our voices have been heard and thanks to the people and their strong voices, the cameras will be coming down. It is a huge victory, and one that we can all be proud of. And although our mayor has gone on record saying that he will fight the will of the people, his fight against the rights of the people will only bring a stronger united front from the community."

In College Station, Texas the city's automated ticketing vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) bankrolled a front group to conduct mass mailings and push polling in an effort to save the program that would have earned the company more than $11 million over the life of the contract. The ATS-funded group reported raising $71,240 in contributions, but not one dollar came from anyone living in the local community. To supplement the vendor's effort, the city allocated taxpayer money to send red light camera promotional material to every voter. College Station activist Jim Ash, who led the fight to put the issue on the ballot, watched the results with a large group of supporters.

"It has been nothing but celebration here," Ash told TheNewspaper minutes after the results became final.

In Heath, voters were bombarded with the same advertisements from Redflex, but they failed to persuade a majority. Voters also defeated Mayor Richard Waugh who had introduced photo enforcement as the signature issue of his administration.

"You can fight city hall and win, when you have a passion for what you believe in," We Demand a Vote spokesman Lori Lyons said in a statement.

Yesterday's results are consistent with previous public votes on the topic. In April, eighty-six percent of the votes in Sulphur, Louisiana rejected speed cameras. In 2008, residents in Cincinnati, Ohio rejected red light cameras. Seventy-six percent of Steubenville, Ohio voters rejected photo radar in 2006. In the mid-1990s, speed cameras lost by a two-to-one margin in Peoria, Arizona and Batavia, Illinois. In 1997, voters in Anchorage, Alaska banned cameras even after the local authorities had removed them. In 2003, 64 percent of voters in Arlington, Texas voted down "traffic management cameras" that opponents at the time said could be converted into ticketing cameras.


  1. ignoring the ELEPHANT in the room...?

  2. Mallory vowed to veto any redlight camera legislation so the Charter Ammendment last year was moot before it was ever voted.

    No comment about your defeat on issue 9?

  3. CityKin,
    Then he broke his vow and become the spokesman for the local pro-red light campaign.

    Issue 9 is over. Congratulations on your well won victory. It's your day, we thought the least we could do was shut up and let you enjoy it.

  4. Of course they're silent. Several of the candidates they backed, lost. Several levies they were against, passed.

    COAST proved their irrelevance when they were against everything. Most people are not willing to abandon their kids, neighbors, communities, or city for a few dollars a year. Issue 7 for the library was an especially bad issue to be against. $31 a year for a $100k home. Most people are willing to part with $2.50 to $5.00 a month to support the libraries. To be against something so trivial proved COAST cares only for themselves and not the entire community.

    Being against wasteful spending is an admirable cause. Being against all spending is insane. COAST showed us they are against everything without even considering the consequences. They have proven they are just little dogs yipping in the background. People who think for themselves will continue to ignore them.

  5. COAST, you lie again. Who could expect any different from you though, it isn't like you want to take the time to research facts to support your argument when is actually just easier to make them up. You don't even need to get your lazy ass up off the armchair you "govern" from for that.

    Mark Mallory threatened to veto red light cameras and never changed his mind on that point. The campaign was, yet again, against changing the city charter for the purpose of banning red light cameras.

    He never changed his mind, and he was never in favor of installing red light cameras. If you can't talk without making up lies, then just stop talking.

    Why don't you try running for council and actually do something other than armchair legislation for a change?

  6. Yeah COAST, run for Council. Or you can just bitch on a blog and circle-jerk over Mark Mallory pictures at super-awesome Young Democrat meetings like Coleman.

  7. "Of course they're silent. Several of the candidates they backed, lost."

    - Several of the candidates that they backed won too, including everyone they backed for Cincinnati City Council. Mallory backed loser Greg Harris and several other losers. He also opposed issue 8. I guess he's irrelevant too. FAIL

    "COAST proved their irrelevance when they were against everything."

    - Actually, just look at the sample ballot. They didn't oppose everything. FAIL.

    "Being against all spending is insane. COAST showed us they are against everything without even considering the consequences."

    - Being for all spending is insane. The Democrat Party showed us that they are for all spending no matter what the circumstances by endorsing every single tax levy on the ballot. FAIL

  8. Coast's marquis event was given a solid thumping. FAIL

    Coast talks about past glories the day after being embarrassed.

    Issue 9 built a huge opposing coalition which is decidedly pro-city, one that is ready to disassemble COAST's next looney effort.

    Nobody came to COAST's election night party.

  9. Photo enforcement cameras are an unnecessary infringement on freedom and I'm pleased that COAST stood against them in Cincinnati last year and I was also glad that the GOP stood with COAST on this issue.

    The work of COAST to advocate for basic freedom and to restrict government spending is important work. They have changed the debate and every tax and spender in this area knows that they have to answer tough questions from COAST before they can raise your taxes or waste your money. Personally, I strongly support this effort to keep government honest.

    THANK YOU COAST for your efforts in this election.

  10. I should add one more comment...

    The levies that passed in 2009 were all made smaller and leaner through COASTs efforts. Every entity that placed a levy on the fall ballot knew that they would face the wrath (a good thing) of COAST if they came in too fat. This is the type of positive impact that may go unnoticed. But not by me.

  11. I meant they opposed every tax levy Bim Turke. The only things COAST was for was Issues 8 and 9. Most people in the city agree with the post I made.

    Most people think for the good of the community and then pick which levies should pass and which levies should fail. COAST thinks only about themselves. Being against the library levy was a bad move. Most citizens, conservative or liberal, do not want to see our libraries deteriorate. They consider them a worthwhile expense, for less than $5 a month.

    When COAST became outspoken about such a trivial levy, they proved they do not consider the effect on the community. Had they supported a few levies and opposed a few levies, they might have passed themselves off as intelligent, thinking individuals. They should have said something like "this levy is small and good for the community" and "this levy is too large and too long and should be voted down."

    Instead COAST showed anything with the word levy should fail regardless of the consequences. People listen if the speaker shows thought and intelligence. COAST has yet to do this.

  12. Bim Turke, I doubt most of the COAST members even live in the city, so they can't run for city council. This makes me wonder why they spend so much time pushing amendments to the city charter.

  13. Once again, COAST did not oppose all tax levies on this years ballot. We appreciate the fact that the commissioners did work to pare the amount of the levies down and thank you to the chairman for recognizing our work.
    as far as red light cameras, Mallory's voice was on the commercials that ran the week of the election saying Vote No to add more police to the street. He absolutely flip flopped his position.
    Congratulations on Issue 9, now build an operate a streetcar without additional tax monies and bring in the billions of development like you've promised.

  14. "I meant they opposed every tax levy Bim Turke"

    No they didn't dumbass. Read their sample ballot. This isn't difficult.

  15. Let's see. The streetcar progressors spent about $3.29 for every vote they earned. COAST spent about $.03 for every vote they earned I'm sure that had nothing to do with the result.

  16. Melanie,
    Our board is about half city residents, half not. Couldn't begin to guess about the membership.

    It's surprising how widespread provincial attitudes are among trolleyites. You'd think they, of all people, would appreciate the importance of the urban core to the region. It's perfectly healthy for suburbanites to want to participate in the workings of the city-proper, even if they can't vote there or run for office.

    The other good reason is taxes. Lots of folks pay city taxes who don't live here. Many of us own properties in the city other than our residences. And a few of us own companies with operations in the city. After writing six figures worth of earning tax checks to Cincinnati, we find it a little disingenuous when folks treat us like carpetbaggers. Most of us are much more heavily invested in the success of the city than your average renting resident.

    Plus we deeply love Cincinnati and want to see it improve. Otherwise we wouldn't make the effort.

  17. Sorry, maybe I'm missing it, but what tax levies did COAST endorse? I didn't see it on the sample ballot.

  18. Maybe Alex can explain to us why he voted AGAINST issue 9 if he is such a champion of COAST?? Also, Alex please step down before you ruin your reputation any more. You're a nice a guy, and I know you've got to be tired of putting on the HCRP chairman mask on everyday.

  19. Osagato -
    There were 5 County-wide tax levies on the ballot. Please list which ones COAST opposed on their sample ballot. Needless to say, it's not all of them, but you already know that. Sorry that the facts don't fit your version of reality. Keep trying.

  20. A (national) article regarding red-light cameras, with some more information on the Ohio issues. The Heath, Ohio mayor was caught removing "anti-camera" signage, and he was voted out of office -- along with the traffic cameras!

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Bim, no need to be rude, it was an honest question. I misunderstood the earlier comment, thinking that COAST had endorsed a levy. I see now that you mean they didn't take a stand on them. Relax, not everyone is out to get you, I was just curious.

  23. Ogata - understood. Peace.

  24. ha-ha. losers. have to write an article about red-light cameras. why not talk about the Nov. 2009 election where you guys got smoked on Issue 9.

    Losers. You aren't even Republican. Just crazy.

  25. Seriously people? I mean, COAST has put up some crazy, baseless, unsupported facts and exaggerations before and they've let their blog run rampant with the likes of "Bris Chortz" and "Bim Turke," but as Jason Gloyd said earlier: "Congratulations on Issue 9." They could've gone on here and acted as immature as Chris Smitherman did in the days after the election, but they're not. We won, now let's keep supporting the progress we've made, not gloat and act as stupid as "Bris Chortz" and "Bim Turke."

  26. UC Student wrote: "Maybe Alex can explain to us why he voted AGAINST issue 9 if he is such a champion of COAST??"

    I didn't know Green Township residents got to vote on a Cincinnati Charter Amendment.

  27. Smarty Pants: Alex was against your ballot issue privately. He volunteered this information to Issue 9 supporters. Hey aren't you the same guy who tried to pick a fight at a press conference? Haha, loser!

  28. COAST IS TOAST BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. "Rocky COAST: Voters spurn anti-tax conservative group"

    COAST — the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes — has been a nemesis of several school administrations and school boards in Southwest Ohio, actively opposing tax issues.

    COAST endorsed 14 candidates and took a stand on five ballot issues. Ten of the 14 COAST-endorsed candidates lost, including three incumbents, and voters rejected the COAST position on four of the five issues.....

    Losing COAST-backed school incumbents were Arnold Engel in the Fairfield City School District and Jennifer Miller in the Mason School District. Losing with Engel were Victor Rivera and Tony Steer, all of which had COAST backing.

    Engel has been a vocal critic of school spending and taxes since before COAST came onto the scene. He founded a Fairfield citizens group called Citizens for Accountability and Results in Education, or CARE.....

    The other losing incumbent with COAST backing was Anderson Township Trustee Albert Peter, an eight-year trustee, who finished fourth in a field of five. Two were elected.

    Jerome Kearns, president of Fairfield Board of Education, said Engel and his supporters have been a destructive influence.

    "Our community got it right this time," Kearns said. "They got out and supported candidates that are good for the community, that aren't interested in being destructive. They were strong in saying that's not what they want for out district and our community."

    COAST losers
    Brad Wenstrup, Mayor of Cincinnati
    Albert F. Peter, Anderson Township Trustee
    John Banner, Cincinnati School Board
    Christopher McDowell, Cincinnati School Board
    Arnold Engel, Fairfield School Board
    Victor Rivera, Fairfield School Board
    Tony Steer, Fairfield School Board
    Jennifer Miller, Mason School Board
    Shannon Hartkemeyer, Fairfield Twp Trustee
    Jeremy Furniss, Fairfield Twp Trustee
    Issue 7, Public Library tax levy
    Issue 9, Trolley or Streetcar Charter Amendment
    Issue 52, Cincinnati School Levy
    Issue 57, Little Miami Fire & Rescue tax levy

  30. It looks like we've caught UCstudent in a lie.

    UCstudent, take 1: "Maybe Alex can explain to us why he voted AGAINST issue 9 if he is such a champion of COAST??"

    Alex lives in Green Township....leading us to UCstudent, take 2: "Smarty Pants: Alex was against your ballot issue privately. He volunteered this information to Issue 9 supporters."

    Isn't it nice when you can make up facts as you go along?

  31. A lie? Haha, I misspoke but not a lie. Your entire campaign rhetoric was a lie, or it was fear mongering and race baiting. As a result it lost because no one bought what you were selling. The electorate didn't, the unions didn't, big business didn't, city leaders didn't, obviously the AfAm community didn't buy it and they were your ace in the hole. Just stay out in your townships and screw those up as much as you want, Cincinnati is full steam ahead and can't be stopped by a bunch of blind demagogues. Have a good day, GO BEARCATS!

  32. UCstudent/Fake Bris Chortz: you have been caught in a lie and no amount of diversion can counter it. You initially stated that Alex T VOTED AGAINST Issue 9. When informed that Alex T lives in Green Twp, you then altered your statement by stating that he privately told some people that he opposed Issue 9.

    Those are not the same claims. All of your phony id's and claims of "private statements" can't cover up the lie you got caught in.

  33. Yeah, Alex lives out of the city limits like the rest of us sane, rational people.

    1) Then why don't you stay out there and let all of us who actually do live here run the city how we want?
    2) That means a lot coming from a person who routinely posts under the name of a member of city council with a slight name alteration.

  34. I only post under the same name, you know that. I've told you multiple times that you are a coward for posting under different handles. I may be misinformed at times, but I'm not liar. I'll leave that to you and COAST because you all know truth only ends in defeat. Just like Issue 9. Furthermore don't you think it is pathetic that you spend so much energy arguing with 20 somethings on the internet?? Haha, aren't you the same sissy who cries assault when someone bumps into you. Go stick your head back in the sand.

  35. Just look at the map of who voted for/against issue 9 and the story is clear. West Enders want to drag Cincinnati down at any cost. They don't have a clue what is happening in the city's core. Next year let's put on the ballot to vote on any infrastructure improvements at all for West End communities. I mean they are so concerned with our backyard, I say we start taking a hard look at their capital issues.

  36. Coleman, the last couple posts from Bris Chortz are one of your people (UCstudent) clowning around. You didn't notice that?

  37. UCstudent was caught in a LIE no matter how much he attempts to rationalize it. Then he makes the puzzling statement, "truth only ends in defeat". Must explain why he lies so much.

  38. Do you want a cookie? The majority was against Issue 9. Including distinguished magistrates such as Triantifilou and Painter. I know, I know Painter doesn't have a good "legal mind" haha, you hack. Just accept that your blind far-right anti-tax anti-urban ideology has no sway in this town. Or if you prefer, keep spending your free time arguing with college students.

  39. It's safe to say that a COAST endorsement is a curse that no candidate should want.

  40. UCstudent doesn't seem to know where he is. This is a COAST blog, which means there might be a few COAST supporters here, regardless of whether or not a few "college students" are also posting here.

    He shows his youth and immaturity when claiming that one defeat shows COAST has no sway around town. The voters supported the COAST position on the Jail Tax, Red Light Cameras, and Water Works. You win some you lose some; let's hope COAST will continue to do both with more class than UCstudent.

    Lying about Triantafilou and then not being man enough to own up to it says much about UCstudent's integrity. Alex T could not have voted against Issue 9 because he lives in Green Township, which shows that UCstudent was making it up. That's what you have to expect from a college boy who writes quotes such as, "truth only ends in defeat."

  41. I'm for regionalism, unless I'm against it.

  42. Haha, you are a sad sad man aren't you. COAST thought this last election would legitimize your little anti-tax group but it only made you look like a bunch of wackos to most people. Keep citing red light cameras as your greatest victory. The dems endorsed Issue 8, that has nothing to do with COAST. EVERY tax levy passed in the city so what exactly are you talking about? Even your anti-tax school board candidates lost. I do have to give it to you, you really did mobilize the voters...AGAINST you, haha. Nobody wants their city controlled by a bunch of ideologues who blindly preach anti-tax regardless of the issue. We love our libraries and our schools and our historic architecture at Union Terminal and we're willing to pay tax to prove it. Why don't you just call up Alex yourself since you are so concerned I may be lying. And did you really just mention "class"? Haha, you threatened to sue someone for bumping into you and start crying "assault", you have made yourself a laughing stock. Even your buddies didn't know which to do first laugh at your idiotic behavior or tell you to chill out before you incriminate the whole bunch. No one has showed their immaturity more than you buddy. Do you really need to have the last word or do you want me to make fun of you some more?

  43. UC Student lies againNovember 9, 2009 at 9:34 AM

    Democrats opposed Issue 8.

  44. UCstudent may be correct about Issue 8. I'm really not sure and don't remember if either the Hamilton County Democratic Party or Cincinnati Democratic Committee did anything on the issue, though given the unions' strong support the Democrats would have been hesitant to go against it.

    It doesn't change that UCstudent outright lied about Alex T, or that COAST has won some and lost some. I'm not sure why he keeps saying that I've threatened to sue anyone, other than to show his inability to discuss an issue without trying to personalize it. I personally was uninvolved in the Streetcar issue and didn't have any confrontations with the anti-9 side. Maybe he's referring to the pushing that a Cincinnatians for Progress person did at a press conference which the Enquirer covered. Let's see what the Enquirer reporter, who unlike me or UCstudent was actually at the press conference, said:

    "When an Issue 9 backer holding a "Yes on 9" sign raised it behind former City Councilman Jim Tarbell as he began urging a no vote on Tuesday, a member of Cincinnatians for Progress grabbed the sign-holder's arm, touching off a few seconds of yelling and bumping.

    "For a few moments, it appeared that the "Don't Tread on Me" flag flying behind Issue 9's backers would have literal meaning. Although the tension quickly defused, afterward, Issue 9's supporters had no trouble assessing blame."

    Based on this Enquirer story, someone from the anti-9 side showed up to a pro-9 press conference, grabbed one of the pro-9 people, yet got nothing in return except an earful. I'd have to give credit to the people who defused the confrontation, not the people on UCstudent's side who ambushed the press conference and started the confrontation. Really classy there buddy.

  45. Todd Portune, David Pepper, Simon LeisNovember 9, 2009 at 11:10 AM

    We don't think COAST is irrelevant. When we tried to slam a tax down Hamilton County's throat with the full faith and endorsements of The Hamilton COunty Democrat and Republican Parties, the Charter Committee, and numerous civic groups COAST whipped our asses.

  46. No that's not true! Alex Triantafilou privately told me COAST didn't do anything to stop the jail tax. It was all the NAACP and leftists who did everything. In spite of COAST, Republicans supported the jail tax. In fact, Senator Jim Bunning privately told me that he voted for it! COAST fails again.

  47. I also know through private sources that it was Elvis and sasquatch that defeated the jail tax and not COAST.


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